The Tottenham January transfer window win that could lead to summer agreement

Japhet Tanganga is thriving in his loan spell with Millwall
Japhet Tanganga is thriving in his loan spell with Millwall -Credit:Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

Japhet Tanganga is doing everything right at present ahead of what is set to be a pivotal summer in his football career. Returning to Tottenham in the January transfer window after a nightmare time in Germany with Augsburg, the defender is now getting regular minutes under his belt in the Championship with Millwall.

It's exactly what he's needed for quite some time after an injury-hit couple of years at such a crucial period in his development. Now 25 years of age, this summer could be when Tanganga's association with Tottenham comes to an end.

Not in Ange Postecoglou's thinking and finding himself quite far down the pecking order, the versatile defender will soon enter the final 12 months of his Tottenham contract and it appears to be the ideal time for both parties to go their separate ways.

The player may just have a few more clubs interested in his services now, though, after a very good loan spell across the capital with Millwall. Not even making a single appearance for Augsburg following a knee injury at the start of the season and then only managing to force his way into the matchday squad once upon his return, the former England Under-21s international is playing week in, week out at The Den.

Tanganga has so far made 16 appearances for Millwall out of a possible 17, playing the full 90 minutes in 15 of them. Following such a stop-start time in the Tottenham first team due to other defensive options as well as his injury woes, his spell with The Lions is probably the first time in his senior career where he has got a sustained run of games under his belt and played every single minute.

Millwall have undoubtedly benefited from having Tanganga at the heart of defence after edging away from the drop zone and achieving Championship safety. Without a senior goal to his name prior to his switch across London, the player now has two goals after scoring in vital wins against high-flying Southampton and relegation rivals Birmingham City.

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Millwall boss Neil Harris spoke last month about seeing a change in the player's personality in a matter of weeks after the loanee spoke in front of the players at half-time. His loan spell really does appear to have worked for all parties involved.

"Japh's one who, in particular, since I walked in the building, he's grown in personality in three weeks already," said the Millwall boss, as reported by Southwark News. "I've seen his character change, I've seen the confidence in him. He spoke at half-time the other day and I was really delighted with it and the lads said that's the first time they've heard him speak openly in front of the group with passion.

"I'm delighted. If I can help him develop in both penalty areas, give him an experience over the coming months that develops him as a man as well a player, then I think Japh will be happy but I'm sure Spurs will be as well."

Following three successive Championship wins to move up the league standings and away from the bottom three, Tanganga and Millwall will be aiming to carry on their impressive form when they take on Plymouth Argyle and Swansea City in their final two league fixtures. Attention will then switch to his future ahead of his return to Hotspur Way.

The Tottenham academy graduate has so far put all speculation regarding his future to the back of his head, instead focusing on the task at hand with Millwall. Speaking last month to South London Press, he said: "I haven't played a lot of football in a while, so that is my main focus. I got the chance to come to Millwall and do that.

"Whatever happens in the summer or later on, in a way I don’t really care about it – because I am focusing on now, Millwall and getting the points we need to do as well as we can in the league. At the beginning it was hard for me because I hadn’t played enough games – I was trying to get up to the rhythm and find my feet.

"The thing for me with this loan was making sure I was available and playing football, because I missed a lot of it at the start of the season, and that is the way it is going now. You also want the results. They weren’t going our way at the start but things have changed now."

Achieving his initial goal of making sure he was available and playing regular football, Tanganga's time at Millwall really couldn't have gone much better. Hopefully it is just the start of things to come for the Tottenham man ahead of such a pivotal few months in his career.

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